Gleyber Torres was once one of the games’ brightest stars, but has not been the same at all and it makes you question what happened?
The 2021 season has been rather rough for the New York Yankees infield. Gio Urshela has dealt with injury and regressed. DJ LeMahieu has not been the same player we saw in 2019 and 2020. And Gleyber Torres has essentially fallen off a cliff. Ever since the 2020 season, Torres has not been remotely close to the same player we saw in 2018 and 2019. Defensively he has declined, and his power at the plate has pretty much vanished. So what happened to the once-promising Yankees shortstop? Is Gleyber on his way out in the future?
So far during the 2021 season, Torres is batting .249 has an OBP of .323, SLG of .342, OPS of .665, 43 RBI, and 6 HR. For a player that had hit 38 homers two seasons ago, this is very concerning. The 2 time all-star has hit a combined 9 home runs since the 2020 season. Torres was once a very powerful hitter that was able to produce on offense, but he has been mightily struggling to produce at the plate since 2020. Many may also say that the decline in Torres’ ability to hit homers has been attributed to MLB no longer using juiced baseballs, which has affected many hitters.
Defense has always been a liability when it comes to Gleyber Torres as well. When the Yankees moved Torres to shortstop in 2020 after playing second base in his first two seasons, many fans were worried about how he would perform defensively. This season, Torres has committed 16 errors. He has had a rough time in the field over the last week, which led to him being benched for two straight games.
If you look at Gleyber’s advanced metrics they’re not pretty whatsoever. Take a look at his Baseball Savant page right here. He is in a poor percentile for many categories. These include avg exit velocity, HardHit%, xSLG, Barrell %, whiff%, and outs above average. His max exit velocity and chase rate are in higher percentiles, but outside of those two areas, his stats have been really dismal.
Also, take a look at this spray chart that represents all of his hits in 2021. A good part of his hits are just singles that hardly even left the infield.
This shows how badly his power has declined. It has been a struggle for Torres to hit the ball out of the park. As I said earlier, maybe his power was all attributed to the juiced balls. Or maybe he just fell off entirely.
Gleyber Torres clearly isn’t the same player he once was. His defense has not been great and his offensive ability has completely fallen apart. But now the question remains, does Gleyber Torres still have a future in New York? I strongly believe that the Yankees should look to move on from him in the offseason or in the coming years. With stars like Corey Seager and Carlos Correa hitting the free-agent market, the Yankees should consider targeting one of those players.
The Yankees farm system also has an influx of middle infielders coming up in the future. Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, Trey Sweeney, the list goes on. Maybe this really is Gleyber’s last chance to prove to the Yankee management that he belongs in New York before it gets too late.